The Laugh Supper, A Time Defying Dialogue

The Laugh Supper, authored/copyright by Leonard Ryzman, first published by Emerald Press in 2002; this e-book edition published 2014; “Printed by CM Digital, Adelaide, South Australia.”

Description/Discussion: The book is described as “a time-defying dialogue composed of imaginary conversations crammed with wisdom and laughter.” It is “time-defying” because the dialogue is provided by a remarkable and somewhat unlikely group of time travelers consisting of Leonardo Da Vinci (1452-1519); Ralph Waldo Emerson (1803-1882); Abraham Lincoln (1809-1865); Groucho Marx (1890-1977); Mae West (1893-1980); perhaps lesser remembered but at the time well-known word supremacist and witty conversationalist Dorothy Parker (1893-1967); John F. Kennedy (1917-1963); Martin Luther King, Jr. (1929-1968); and John Lennon of the Beatles (1940-1980). There are thirteen chapters in which this perhaps somewhat strange-appearing assembly of individuals discuss a myriad of subjects that range from invention, discoveries and art, to ways best suited for weight loss, understanding differences between the sexes, to the nature of, and relationship between, time and space and numerous other topics. The discussions may best be described as an assemblage of sharp repartee where the witty remarks often may be pithy, the observations/suggestions quite apropos and amusingly expressed, but all are quite fittingly couched in language and expressed in a manner one would expect from the person who is speaking. A brief sampling from an earlier chapter. Mae West: “A husband is a person who is under the impression he bosses the house when in reality, he only houses the boss.” Kennedy; “Agreed. Arguing with Jackie goes like this: I came! I saw! I concurred!” Mae: “Naturally, give a man a free hand and he’ll put it all over you.” Groucho: “when I was in hospital, a shapely nurse once had to hold my wrist to check my impulse. Well, men will be men.” Mae: “I wouldn’t want them to be anything else.” Kennedy: “I don’t think it’s all a one-way street though. Many women know how to use their curves to advantage.” Parker; “For every woman with a curve, there are several men with angles.” Then bits from later chapters: King; “Our scientific power has outrun our spiritual power. We still have guided missiles and misguided man. We don’t need more judges, but more sound judgement. We need more warm hearts and fewer hot heads. We need to realize it is not the differences between us that is the difficulty; it is the indifferences.” Emerson: “People once shouted give me Liberty. Now they leave off the last word.” Groucho: “What’s wrong with the world isn’t the people that are trying to get something for nothing. It’s those who are succeeding.” Lennon: “Time you enjoy working isn’t time wasted. Lincoln: You will never find time for anything. If you want time, you must find it.” Parker: “Time isn’t passing me by. It’s trying to run over me.” The final chapter (13) provides a most thoughtful and interesting ‘wrap-up’.

Conclusion: The author has written a book that readers who lived during the mid-nineteen hundreds should greatly appreciate. Unlike today’s most usual experiences of communicating via an electronic devise, luncheons and dinners were spent leisurely in conversation with friends/acquaintances and pleasant repartee was a treasured part of the event. People did not just eat. They dined and conversed. As mentioned in Dorothy Parker’s short biography here, she was a member of the famed Algonquin Round Table where this was a daily occurrence. This was an activity prevalent to the times and others, who were not as fortunate and perhaps not as gifted, still would look forward to these same experiences as often as available. Thus, even if the reader is not of these generations, he/she might still appreciate the mental acuity demonstrated by these remarkable people and better understand the occasional comment on some of today’s interpersonal relationships from a member of an earlier generation. But if nothing more, the author’s opening quote attributed to Abraham Lincoln provides a most fitting conclusion for this book: “For those who like this kind of book, this is the kind of book they will like.”

5* Charmingly reminiscent, even enjoyable and possibly rewarding for younger generations.

2 Parts: Food Art and Literature

2 Parts: Food Art and Literature ISBN: 9781545189016, an e-book by Oladayo A. Sanusi, MD, FACP, FASN.

As explained in a Forward by W. R. Young, this book is a collection of poetry and recitation created by Dr. Sanusi and divided into two parts. “Part 1, Food Art is a series of recitations and poetry combined, all gracefully illustrated by Donna Kirby” while Part 2, Literature, contains many previously published, but rewritten poems. The whole, covers many topics and many points of view ranging from memories of the author’s days as a young man in Africa right up to the year 2016 in America, and he “Bares both heart and soul and all the emotions involved with love, respect and trust, family and friendship, loss and grieving, pain and sorrow, passion and compassion, success and fame.” Many are pure reminiscence, while others will initiate your own recollections, but the total “will most assuredly become one of your prized possessions.” Following this Forward, the author’s Dedication: “To all those who seek the food of knowledge. And to educators, for providing the art of learning”. Next are heartfelt words of gratitude for and to his wife and family and a thoughtful tribute to the artist Donna Kirby. Part 1, Food Art, begins with Family Cooking where “Working with children bring out the best in them and in you. It is a glory and honor that lasts forever” and in a “Happy Kitchen, A family that cooks together stays together. And forever they shall work together.” The selection of poems then are grouped under Breakfast Medley I – XII, Confetti I – IV and on to a final thought for children that begins simply “Yummy is the word when humans are ready to fill their tummy…” Part 2 follows with Notes: “SAILING FROM THE DUNGEONS: Through the Eyes of the Sun of Africa” and is replete with numerous poems covering almost every conceivable emotion.

Discussion: This is a most unique offering by a man who had been a successful Entrepreneur and recognized poet in Africa before deciding to obtain his Medical Degree and immigrate to the United States where he once again embarked upon bringing a degree of cultural fulfilment to an area long hungering for such activity. Much of the book’s unique character lies in the fact that the author has the distinct advantage of spending his early years even into maturity in Nigeria before arriving in the United States. This basic culture has provided him with an awareness of the similarities and differences between the two. It also places him in a better position to equate with children as well as understand the complex human frailties so prevalent in adults. Part 1 reflects much of this understanding. The poetry mostly is a Free-flowing style and offers a good ‘cook book’ with respect to selection/preparation of foods, much of which can be enjoyed by children BUT simultaneously, it alludes to the interpersonal activities necessary to establish/maintain a healthful mental/physical family relationship. For example: “The Old and the New Medley of African and New American Soul, all spirited to blend a soup for the body.” And from The Works I Plenty of Love. Harmony nothing is perfect Make it the way you want it Blend it like life Toe the grey lines with skillful balance Don’t be too athletic about it It’s not the grey line that will fetch the Olympic Medal For Silver I have none Bronze I have none Gold I have none  Love I got plenty  Straight from the heart of my toaster  Carefully served mild, moderate and well done For a well-deserved for my heart is all yours” Part 2 is preceded by two reviews of an earlier compilation of poems by the author and provide the reader with an excellent overview of what can be expected to follow. Briefly, they consist of a compilation of frequently complex thoughts, interpretation of which often is somewhat difficult. This the author freely admits and provides helpful explanatory comments at the end of most and certainly of the more intricate.

Summary: Dr. Sanusi, no doubt with significant aid from his most helpful multicultural background, has provided a most thought-provoking book for individuals to consider and especially if involved, or contemplating involvement in, a family relationship.

5* A most unique presentation of a thoughtful individual’s ruminations.